Welcome one to my stop on the Steel Lily blog tour! I’m delighted to present you all with an interview with the author, Megan Curd, whom I had the pleasure of meeting at UtopYA this year. There’s a Rafflecoptersaurus at the end of this post, so be sure to read all the way to the bottom!
First, about the book…
Steel Lily, by Megan Curd
AVERY PIKE is a commodity. No, more than a commodity. Her existence is guarded at all costs.
She’s a water Elementalist, the strongest of her dwindling kind. She creates steam to provide energy to fuel Dome Three: the only thing standing between humanity and an earth ravaged by World War III. No steam, no Dome. No Dome, no life.
Or so she thinks.
That is, until a mysterious man offers her a way out of having to donate steam. A way to escape the corrupt government of Dome Three. While the offer seems too good to be true, Avery is intrigued.
But when she arrives to her new home, she realizes the grass isn’t any less dead on this side of the fence. Instead, the lies are just hidden better.
…Which means digging deeper.
When Avery enlists the help of her friends to uncover the truth, it may make her wonder if she was better off being a government tool than searching for freedom.
Some secrets are better left concealed, but humankind was never meant to live in a cage. And when you can control the most sought after resource, you can learn to control anything…including the fate of your world.
Ready to buy? Get it here on Amazon!
About the author:
Megan Curd is a graduate of Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota. While having always enjoyed reading any books she could get her hands on, Megan didn’t begin writing until a friend encouraged her to do so while in college.
When not writing, Megan enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She loves to snowboard and travel to new places, and doesn’t turn down the opportunity to play xBox with her brother and friends when it presents itself.
Megan currently resides in Stanton, Kentucky with her husband, son, and Great Dane named Dozer.
Find Megan here:
A short excerpt from Steel Lily:
The Polatzi woman’s broad body blocked the view of my intended hallway. Her hands were on her hips, and her piercing gaze felt as if it might actually impale me.
Do they teach that death stare to every Polatzi, or is this woman particularly nasty?
I jutted my chin in the air. “Who’s asking?”
“You were off the grid last night.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
I pushed past her before she could say more and felt the smooth fabric of her cape slap my legs as I passed. Fiery anger consumed me, but I kept my expression neutral. Damn Polatzi. They gave me nothing but unanswered questions and a lice-ridden bed at an overcapacity orphanage, yet expected me to revere them. Providing steam–being an asset they couldn’t get rid of–gave me immunity to the Polatzi as long as I didn’t do anything stupid.
Like skipping class and going to see Alice during a night of sweeps.
Yeah, that would fall under the category of life-threateningly stupid, which was a couple notches above incredibly stupid.
Megan was kind enough to answer a few questions for me, about the book and about her writing in general.
Thanks for dropping by, Megan! Let’s get down to it.
1. Writers can often cite something specific that inspired a piece of fiction, whether it was a song, a snippet of an overheard conversation, or an old shoe. Was there anything in particular that inspired the idea of Steel Lily?
It wasn’t necessarily where the idea came from, but Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices series inspired me to dig deeper into really relaying the vision of my world on the page. I wanted to write a book that could capture the readers senses—all of them—and make them feel what I feel when I read Clare’s books. Conversely, I’m convinced that Muse’s album, The 2nd Law, was made FOR Steel Lily. Their song, “The 2nd Law: Unsustainable” states, “New energy cannot be created, and high-grade energy is being destroyed. An economy based on endless growth is unsustainable.” That really made me think of what the world might come to in the end after a war, after we continue to suck our world dry. That song was on repeat quite a bit, as was the entire album.
2. What was your process for writing Steel Lily? What came first, the setting or the characters? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
The setting got me thinking, but the first scene that was written is actually the opening scene in the book. I could see Avery fighting to be “one of the bunch,” but standing out because of her ability. Her world built up right around her. It really came together like a movie in my head. Also, I’m definitely a pantser. I’ve gotten better about getting a general idea out, and I always know where my books begin and end. It’s the “how to get there” that’s fun, and I enjoy the ride that the characters take me on.
3. Who was the first of your cast of characters, not including the protagonist, to really jump off the page at you? Who came to life the most as you wrote and discovered the character?
Riggs was an absolute blast to write, but Xander really commanded the page more than I thought he would. It always surprises me who makes themselves known as I write. I may have a plan in my head, but the characters really dictate the direction of the story. They continually surprise me.
4. Every story needs an antagonist. Who is it in Steel Lily and what surprised you the most about them?
I think you need to meet the antagonist on your own in this one. *winks* but he’s definitely a charmer. He even had me under his spell! I can’t wait to write more of him in book two.
5. What was the hardest part of working on this book? A particular scene, the first draft, edits?
On this book, it was probably the fleshing out. It wasn’t a particular scene or draft. It was making sure every character had a reason. There were actually a couple characters cut from this book because as bad as I wanted them there, they weren’t pushing the story forward. One has made his debut in the sequel, and I love him. I’m glad he’s around. He just wasn’t meant for the first book. Making sure each character had a purpose and that they had their opportunity to shine was important to me.
6. I’m a cover junkie, so let’s talk a bit about yours. Who designed it? What elements did you want to see brought to life in the finished product?
Oh my gosh, can I just fangirl for a moment? I LOVE Regina Wamba of Mae I Design. I am absolutely thrilled she took on Steel Lily, and she knocked the cover out of the park! She was phenomenal. She asked what the book’s playlist was, asked for images that I felt gave the feel of the book, and wanted excerpts. She was so thorough in what she wanted to know about the book. I gave her a couple book covers I loved and that I saw Steel Lily fitting in, and she just…wow. Yeah. She took my breath away with it. I really wanted to have the dystopian feel on the cover, but also the hint of steampunk. I wanted to give a cover that both a male and female reader could pick up and not have a gender bias, but for it still to be beautiful. I basically asked for the moon, and Regina gave me the stars, too. I can’t wait to see what she does with Iron Pendulum (the sequel).
7. Steel Lily is the first of this series. How many books are you planning and how far apart will they be released?
I am planning for definitely three, and if the writing gods smile on me, Iron Pendulum, book number 2, will be released December 17th. However, I will not release something that’s not 100% ready to be released, so that date is tentative. The third book is untitled at this point, but I’m gunning for a May/June release. My goal is to have all three books out before I attend UtopYA next year. That’s my dream. :)
8. What’s the best part of being a writer?
Being able to release the voices in your head, and not being hospitalized for it! :) No, seriously, I love the creative freedom, but I LOVE my readers. I love connecting and knowing someone enjoyed my story. Those positive reviews make me sing and dance and want to hug someone… and hopefully they don’t think I’m too weird. :)
9. Conversely, what’s the worst part?
The self-doubt. And if anyone says they’re a writer and they don’t have self-doubt, they’re talking crazy. I can’t tell you how many times I’m wondering if people will enjoy the story, if the story is good enough, if there’s anything I could do to make it better, etc. I’m always wondering, always looking to hone my craft and create a better book. I hit that publish button and just start saying my Hail Marys, ha. It’s so, so worth it though. I love being a writer. It’s an amazing honor.
10. You’re about to be dropped onto a island where all your needs are met save one. There are no books there. Which ones do you take with you and why? (And no cheating and saying “my e-reader”.)
Ha! But I NEED my e-reader! Is there a limit? I guess if I could only take a few, I’d take the Harry Potter series and Hunger Games, because they just mesmerized me. I’d take Divergent and Daughter of Smoke and Bone, too. I’d take my Bible, of course. (I should probably say these are in no particular order, so I don’t get in trouble with the Big Guy, right?) :)
Thanks again, Megan, for you wonderful answers!
Now, as promised, your Rafflecoptersaurus:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck, Megan! :)